By: Shabri Lakhani
Many firms are cautious to invest heavily in BDR training for a myriad of reasons, whether that be cost-cutting or the mistaken impression that BDRs can learn everything they need to on the job.
This is a mistake in both the short-term and long-term. In this blog, we’ll analyze why BDR training is a smart investment, particularly when hiring inexperienced sales talent in the hopes of driving company growth.
The Right Way To Train
It’s important to note that if you go about BDR training the wrong way, you likely won’t see a return on investment. In fact, you’ve probably invested in sales training before that consisted of seminar-style monologues and half-awake participants. Sales training is only worth the investment (multiple times over) when done right. And, over the years, we’ve uncovered several sales training best practices to ensure your reps are putting their best foot forward.
The number one way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your BDR training is by making it a continuous process. Stop and start, “fire and forget” training does not have a lasting impact on BDR performance. You can’t expect to sit your BDRs down in a room for 8 hours of non-stop training once every six months and see performance improvements.
The length and structure of your training are both going to play a massive role in whether it is financially productive or not. New BDRs need lots of practice and application to hone their craft, and we have found that self-pacing learning, specifically e-learning, works best to get them where they need to be. Sales training that follows the Conscious Competence Learning Model is best for maximizing results. The art of sales, like any other, requires continuous practice to improve, and your progress will halt or decline if you stop learning. Think of it like learning an instrument. If you practice for a few weeks, then stop for two months, you’re not going to be as proficient after that layoff as when you were practicing regularly.
The Role Of BDR Training
Many firms look at the average tenure of a BDR, see that it sits at about 15 months on average, and immediately balk at the idea of investing in extensive BDR training. They see it as a waste of money if those employees are likely to churn quickly. Understandable, but this is the wrong way to think about it. Firms should be using training to reduce salespeoples’ ramp times and maximize the productivity of their reps while they are in the role.
Think about it this way. If your training exercise increases meetings booked or deals closed by 10%, that can have a big impact on your funnel productivity. Take an example funnel whereby each salesperson has a $500,000 quota. When done right, continuous training should result in, at minimum, a 5 to 10% increase in performance, both in terms of top-of-the-funnel productivity and bottom-of-the-funnel effectiveness. That means you stand to gain between $50,000 and $100,000 from a $1,000 investment. It’s worth running the numbers on your own funnel. If you put $1000 into training, per rep, take note of how this impacts your bottom line. Are you seeing more closed-won sales? Are the deal values of these sales enough to help you realize a return on your investment? It’s important to consider all of the variables before jumping to conclusions about the efficacy of sales training.
Companies that invest in training and employee development see lower churn rates, which is particularly important when employee retention is at an all-time low. Salespeople want to work for companies that are willing to invest in their career path.
SalesWorks specializes in developing comprehensive sales training programs for firms like yours to ensure you get the most out of your sales talent. Request a consultation today to learn more about SalesWorks’ unique approach to sales training and how it can help your firm get a proper financial return from its sales training efforts.